I mentioned on Wednesday 5 great benefits of running on a treadmill and seemed to get a pretty consistent reaction from people.
Treadmill running is so boring!
I definitely used to think the exact same thing until I realized what an asset it could be. Here are a few ways to get over the monotony of running on the self propelled belt we love to hate.
Find one with a tv (or near one)
We got rid of cable about a year and a half ago, so treadmill running is one of my only fixes for some mindless tv. I tend to schedule the times I run so I can catch a show or movie right when it starts. Depending on the length of the program I am watching, the run usually flies by. My latest obsession has been HGTV and all of the fun house remodeling shows. We are currently house hunting, so tuning into these shows is my favorite!
Cover the screen
If you are able to, cover the screen so you can’t see how far you have gone. If you have access to a treadmill with a tv on the screen, a lot of times you can choose an option to hide all of the information pertinent to the run, and only have the show visible. If you have a standard display, throw a towel over the front so your mileage, time, and pace isn’t staring back at you.
Turn it into a workout
Instead of running an easy 5 miles in a stationary spot, come up with a workout to do. For example, warm up for a mile, and then complete 6x400m repeats (equivalent to a 1/2 mile) with 400m recovery, then cool down for one more mile. You will end up focusing on each 400, rather than the over all 5 miles. Both workouts are the same distance, however you will view them significantly different once you are finished.
If you have the option of running on a treadmill that faces a mirror or one that faces a window to the outside, choose the one with the window. Even the littlest of distractions can make a huge difference when you are forced to look at the same thing for an extended period of time.
Know its making you mentally tough
You know that race you want to run this fall? Do you think you are going to get to a place you want to stop? Think of the treadmill as practice for that feeling. In so many races, you hit the wall or get to that inevitable place you just want to call it quits. Go just a little bit further, and then a little further after that. Before you know it, you will have finished the race (or your treadmill run).
Learn your pace
One thing many runners struggle with is knowing what a certain pace feels like. When you use a treadmill, you are able to choose that pace and stick with it (or get thrown off the back ;). Get your legs used to your target pace, and then use that knowledge when you get outside. See if you can hit the same pace in both places. The translation should be pretty seamless. It may take a little longer once you get outside, but you will get the hang of it pretty quick.